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May 10, 2017

Teach Ladybugs With a Book, a Magazine, Crafts, and a Treat!

By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    A few years ago, I started using Let’s Find Out and it has completely changed my classroom. I LOVE the magazine and I can’t imagine not having this resource to share with my students. Let’s Find Out is a highlight in our week and my kids always look forward to reading their new magazine. The seasonal science and social studies themes line up perfectly with the topics I teach. To get your own weekly subscription, just visit the Let's Find Out web page. But to enjoy the activities and resources used in this blog post, you can access the Ladybug edition right here for three months.

    Nonfiction Reading Promotes Student Success

    Many kids love to read about science and nature, as well as real people and the world around them. Even the most reluctant reader often get excited to read real-life stories. For years, there has been an imbalance between fiction and nonfiction in reading. With the Common Core State Standards, more emphasis has now been placed on reading nonfiction.

    “Teachers may find that this shift pays off in terms of student enthusiasm. Researchers have noted one other benefit of nonfiction reading: the potential to motivate children to read by tapping into their interests. This may, in fact, be the most important insight to be gleaned from research. Although students may continue to find fiction appealing, nonfiction doesn’t have to be boring. On the contrary, allowing students to explore and pursue their interests with a broad array of informational texts can help them to see that the real world can often be just as surprising and intriguing as make-believe.” ASCD.org

    To learn more about how nonfiction reading promotes student success, please take a look at ASCD's article, "Research Says / Nonfiction Reading Promotes Student Success."

     

    Engaging Activities to Do With Your Class Using Let’s Find Out: Lovely Little Ladybugs

    Every spring, we learn about creepy crawlers, and the ladybug is one of the cutest ones around! It’s hard to resist that bright red color and those adorable little polka dots they wear on their backs! I was so excited when I saw that ladybugs are a popular topic this year. Take a look at the 2017-2018 planning calendar. I hope it makes you as excited as I am when you see all the topics and themes that will be covered in the upcoming school year!

    ·       Word Wall Words

    We begin our week by reading the new edition of Let’s Find Out. There are so many things to do with the magazine. My kids really enjoy getting out their highlighters and finding all our word wall words in the text. I love listening to them as they go on a “hunt” for the words. They work together and examine each other’s magazines to ensure they have found all the words. It’s always a good day when my kiddos get to use highlighters!

    ·       Watch and Learn Videos

    The online resources in Let’s Find Out are AMAZING! My kids absolutely love watching the videos — I think I would have to say it’s one of their favorite features of the magazine. Today, they begged me to play one of the videos over and over again. Thank goodness it was the short one and only ran about 45 seconds. The videos are fantastic! If a picture is worth 1,000 words, you need only to look at the faces of the children below to see how engaging the videos are!

    ·       Skill Building Games

    My kids love, love, love the online games they can play at home or at school. The games give students fun practice with sorting, spelling, and other essential skills. Let’s Find Out builds foundational reading, math, and social-development skills. For me, the best part is, the children don’t even know they are learning. They have so much fun at school when we play these games that everybody wants a turn!

     

    The Grouchy Ladybug

     

    I can’t teach ladybugs without sharing one of my very favorite Eric Carle books. The Grouchy Ladybug is the cutest story about a ladybug who is mean to everyone. She goes around asking all the animals she meets, “Hey, you! Wanna fight?”. My kids love joining in on the refrain. At the end of the story, they are relieved to find out that the ladybug’s hunger is the reason for her grouchiness!

    My kids really enjoyed making their very own grouchy ladybugs. This was such a fun and simple craft to prepare. If you are interested in making these grouchy ladybugs with your class, please click here for the head and body templates.  

    I can’t resist giving my students the opportunity to make text-to-self connections with the stories we read. The Grouchy Ladybug is an easy one. I mean, really, who doesn’t get grouchy every now and again? Reading my kindergartners’ writing is a favorite part of my job. Seeing their writing development through the year is amazing. It’s such a hoot to read what they have to say! And boy, let me tell you, they have a LOT to say!

    I was so delighted with how the grouchy ladybugs turned out, I decided to make a bulletin board to show them! Please click here for the "I am grouchy when..." writing template if you would like to find out what things make your students grouchy!

     

    Ladybug Anchor Chart

    Anchor charts work wonderfully with developing writers. These charts can be a great resource. My kids quickly figure out that using the charts as a writing reference helps their writing tremendously! We talk about how it is important to use the tools around the room to help us learn, and boy, this little chart was used a bunch while we were learning and writing all about ladybugs.

    Labeling

    Labeling in kindergarten is important. Just as we labeled our anchor chart, we also labeled the ladybugs we drew during our directed drawing lesson. Labels are helpful because they give us information about something. I am confident these labels helped my students when they were doing their informational writing about ladybugs. Click here for the labels we used.

    Informational Writing

    We began with a ladybug directed drawing using a Ladybug Writing Template. The ladybugs were then colored in and labels were added to mark body parts. After the labeling was complete, my students began to write all about the things they had learned about ladybugs during the week. Informational writing can be hard. Facts vs. opinions can sometimes be a struggle for my little kinders, but in the end, they really did an amazing job!

    This picture makes me happy! This little guy was struggling with a word when he was writing and then all of a sudden, he jumped up and grabbed his magazine out of his cubby. When I asked him what he was doing, he said, “I remembered the word colorful was in the magazine!” His pride and smile and melted this teacher’s heart!

    Releasing Ladybugs

    We have an amazing garden at our school. The students help grow and harvest the food that is produced. Each year the students get the opportunity to release ladybugs into the garden. This is a very exciting time, to say the least! In the “Lovely Little Ladybug” issue of Let’s Find Out, we learned that ladybugs are helpful to gardens because they eat those pesky aphids. We read about aphids in the magazine, so it was really neat when the kids had the opportunity to put the information they read into a real-world context. This, my friends, is what reading is all about! It just doesn’t get any better than this!

     

    Strawberry Ladybugs

    In kindergarten, we love a snack! I’m always on the lookout for fun and yummy snacks that fit perfectly into our weekly themes. These little strawberry ladybugs were so easy to make!

     

    Here’s what you need to make strawberry ladybugs with your kids:

    ·       Strawberries

    ·       Blueberries

    ·       Mini chocolate chips

    ·       Lettuce (for decoration)

    What Fun Activities Are You Doing This Month?

    Thanks for reading and I hope your day is filled with sunshine and smiles!

    Hugs,

    Shari

    Check out my other blog posts!

     

    A few years ago, I started using Let’s Find Out and it has completely changed my classroom. I LOVE the magazine and I can’t imagine not having this resource to share with my students. Let’s Find Out is a highlight in our week and my kids always look forward to reading their new magazine. The seasonal science and social studies themes line up perfectly with the topics I teach. To get your own weekly subscription, just visit the Let's Find Out web page. But to enjoy the activities and resources used in this blog post, you can access the Ladybug edition right here for three months.

    Nonfiction Reading Promotes Student Success

    Many kids love to read about science and nature, as well as real people and the world around them. Even the most reluctant reader often get excited to read real-life stories. For years, there has been an imbalance between fiction and nonfiction in reading. With the Common Core State Standards, more emphasis has now been placed on reading nonfiction.

    “Teachers may find that this shift pays off in terms of student enthusiasm. Researchers have noted one other benefit of nonfiction reading: the potential to motivate children to read by tapping into their interests. This may, in fact, be the most important insight to be gleaned from research. Although students may continue to find fiction appealing, nonfiction doesn’t have to be boring. On the contrary, allowing students to explore and pursue their interests with a broad array of informational texts can help them to see that the real world can often be just as surprising and intriguing as make-believe.” ASCD.org

    To learn more about how nonfiction reading promotes student success, please take a look at ASCD's article, "Research Says / Nonfiction Reading Promotes Student Success."

     

    Engaging Activities to Do With Your Class Using Let’s Find Out: Lovely Little Ladybugs

    Every spring, we learn about creepy crawlers, and the ladybug is one of the cutest ones around! It’s hard to resist that bright red color and those adorable little polka dots they wear on their backs! I was so excited when I saw that ladybugs are a popular topic this year. Take a look at the 2017-2018 planning calendar. I hope it makes you as excited as I am when you see all the topics and themes that will be covered in the upcoming school year!

    ·       Word Wall Words

    We begin our week by reading the new edition of Let’s Find Out. There are so many things to do with the magazine. My kids really enjoy getting out their highlighters and finding all our word wall words in the text. I love listening to them as they go on a “hunt” for the words. They work together and examine each other’s magazines to ensure they have found all the words. It’s always a good day when my kiddos get to use highlighters!

    ·       Watch and Learn Videos

    The online resources in Let’s Find Out are AMAZING! My kids absolutely love watching the videos — I think I would have to say it’s one of their favorite features of the magazine. Today, they begged me to play one of the videos over and over again. Thank goodness it was the short one and only ran about 45 seconds. The videos are fantastic! If a picture is worth 1,000 words, you need only to look at the faces of the children below to see how engaging the videos are!

    ·       Skill Building Games

    My kids love, love, love the online games they can play at home or at school. The games give students fun practice with sorting, spelling, and other essential skills. Let’s Find Out builds foundational reading, math, and social-development skills. For me, the best part is, the children don’t even know they are learning. They have so much fun at school when we play these games that everybody wants a turn!

     

    The Grouchy Ladybug

     

    I can’t teach ladybugs without sharing one of my very favorite Eric Carle books. The Grouchy Ladybug is the cutest story about a ladybug who is mean to everyone. She goes around asking all the animals she meets, “Hey, you! Wanna fight?”. My kids love joining in on the refrain. At the end of the story, they are relieved to find out that the ladybug’s hunger is the reason for her grouchiness!

    My kids really enjoyed making their very own grouchy ladybugs. This was such a fun and simple craft to prepare. If you are interested in making these grouchy ladybugs with your class, please click here for the head and body templates.  

    I can’t resist giving my students the opportunity to make text-to-self connections with the stories we read. The Grouchy Ladybug is an easy one. I mean, really, who doesn’t get grouchy every now and again? Reading my kindergartners’ writing is a favorite part of my job. Seeing their writing development through the year is amazing. It’s such a hoot to read what they have to say! And boy, let me tell you, they have a LOT to say!

    I was so delighted with how the grouchy ladybugs turned out, I decided to make a bulletin board to show them! Please click here for the "I am grouchy when..." writing template if you would like to find out what things make your students grouchy!

     

    Ladybug Anchor Chart

    Anchor charts work wonderfully with developing writers. These charts can be a great resource. My kids quickly figure out that using the charts as a writing reference helps their writing tremendously! We talk about how it is important to use the tools around the room to help us learn, and boy, this little chart was used a bunch while we were learning and writing all about ladybugs.

    Labeling

    Labeling in kindergarten is important. Just as we labeled our anchor chart, we also labeled the ladybugs we drew during our directed drawing lesson. Labels are helpful because they give us information about something. I am confident these labels helped my students when they were doing their informational writing about ladybugs. Click here for the labels we used.

    Informational Writing

    We began with a ladybug directed drawing using a Ladybug Writing Template. The ladybugs were then colored in and labels were added to mark body parts. After the labeling was complete, my students began to write all about the things they had learned about ladybugs during the week. Informational writing can be hard. Facts vs. opinions can sometimes be a struggle for my little kinders, but in the end, they really did an amazing job!

    This picture makes me happy! This little guy was struggling with a word when he was writing and then all of a sudden, he jumped up and grabbed his magazine out of his cubby. When I asked him what he was doing, he said, “I remembered the word colorful was in the magazine!” His pride and smile and melted this teacher’s heart!

    Releasing Ladybugs

    We have an amazing garden at our school. The students help grow and harvest the food that is produced. Each year the students get the opportunity to release ladybugs into the garden. This is a very exciting time, to say the least! In the “Lovely Little Ladybug” issue of Let’s Find Out, we learned that ladybugs are helpful to gardens because they eat those pesky aphids. We read about aphids in the magazine, so it was really neat when the kids had the opportunity to put the information they read into a real-world context. This, my friends, is what reading is all about! It just doesn’t get any better than this!

     

    Strawberry Ladybugs

    In kindergarten, we love a snack! I’m always on the lookout for fun and yummy snacks that fit perfectly into our weekly themes. These little strawberry ladybugs were so easy to make!

     

    Here’s what you need to make strawberry ladybugs with your kids:

    ·       Strawberries

    ·       Blueberries

    ·       Mini chocolate chips

    ·       Lettuce (for decoration)

    What Fun Activities Are You Doing This Month?

    Thanks for reading and I hope your day is filled with sunshine and smiles!

    Hugs,

    Shari

    Check out my other blog posts!

     

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